FG, Interpol Sign MoU to Strengthen Security Operation
The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) on information sharing under West African Police Information System (WAPIS).. The platform is aimed at strengthening and exchanging information and coordination among countries in West Africa to combat crime and strengthen security operations within the ECOWAS Sub-region.
Minister of Interior, Lt Gen (rtd) Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau who signed for the Government of Nigeria said that the agreement would help Nigeria police open and maintain better communication system with other countries in combating terrorism, money laundering, human trafficking, cybercrime and other transnational crimes.
He said further that the agreement and implementation of the project which is long overdue will help in tackling emerging security threats in the region as no single country will succeed in its fight against terrorism without the commitment and support of the other countries in the world.
General Dambazau stated that “the use of technology to fight both national and trans-national crime has become imperative as information on crime becomes faster to track and easier to go after criminals.” He said that the MoU was the beginning of repositioning Nigerian National Central Bureau for effectiveness and result-oriented policing.
The Minister described the agreement as good for the police force and crime investigation system in Nigeria, which will help in improving on the effectiveness of Nigerian police force to combat crime and ensure security and safety of lives and property according to the policy direction of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration.
Earlier, the Secretary-General of INTERPOL, Jurgen Stock, said that the event was a significant milestone and good step in stakeholders’ fight against crime in Nigeria and beyond.
According to him, WAPIS will bring information closer to the front line, and the MoU is the right step in enhancing security in Nigeria and West Africa. “Today, we have signed a new chapter in our WAPIS journey,’’ he added.
In his remarks, Head of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) delegation, Gen. Francis Behanzin, said WAPIS was important to the security of the region, through sharing of data among the nations.
He further reaffirmed ECOWAS’ commitment to the success of the programme.
Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, said that WAPIS was a complementary database established to collect information.
He said that it was a base for information on crimes like car theft, illegal migrants, fake identity cards and other acts of criminality in the region.
“It is a tool that is needed for every country to fight crime,’’ he said.
Adamu further said that personnel of the Nigerian Police Force had gained a lot from its collaboration with the INTERPOL, noting that the force would work with the international police to tap from its expertise. The force had digitized its operations, and was putting its resources together to fight crimes in the country and West Africa, he added.
Director (Press & Public Relations)
For: Honourable Minister